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nekovet, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 22616
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My is nibbling and scratching her self

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Hi my bitch is nibbling and scratching her self

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she had these signs?

Where is she licking/scratching specifically (ie neck, belly, etc)?

Are you seeing any changes to the skin (ie pimples, pustules, scabs, sores, ulcers, redness, dander, or crusting)?

When did you use those flea treatments? What brand?

Any diet change in the 4-6 weeks before this started?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About 2weeks her back end belly and sides. no and johnson ,no she had no changers to he diet

Thank you.

Now when our dogs are showing these signs, we do have a few concerns. Still, from what you have told me, mites, fungal infections, dietary allergies, and bacterial causes sound less likely. Instead, we’d be most wary of allergic dermatitis; which can be secondary to flea saliva exposure, and environmental allergens. As well, we can see attention paid to these areas when they have underlying anal gland issues, so if she is also dragging her bum or sore in her back end, we'd want those checked.

With this all in mind, we will want to start some supportive care. To start, since fleas are all too common a cause for these signs and especially as the weather warms, you are right to focus on treating her against these. Still, I have to note that flea shampoos and Johnson products (as well as Bob Martin) are not very good and we do see a lot of flea resistance. Therefore, it would be ideal to retreat with a better product (ie Advocate, Stronghold, Bravecto, Vectra-3d, etc) in a week's time to ensure that base is covered.

Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** approach, dogs caught in this kind of allergic response often respond well to religious flea treatment (which you have covered already) but in the heat of a flare-up may need additional short term medications to help break the itchiness cycle. Specifically, we’d want to consider treating with an antihistamine. Most commonly we use Piriton/Chlorphenamine ( 4-8mg every 12 hours) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We do like to keep the dose low to start since it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, these shouldn't be used if your wee one has any known health issues or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Further to this, we do also want to limit the damage she is doing to her skin. If she is causing any wounds, then consider bathing the area in a mild antiseptic. Examples would be dilute OTC chlorohexidine or even salt water (1tbsp per pint warm water). Afterwards, you can use your spray or an OTC hydrocortisone cream. This should be done a few times a day, and dried thoroughly. Afterwards, you want to discourage chewing and further damage to the area but either placing a buster collar/ e-collar (from the vets or pet store) or even placing a tshirt to cover the area (and cloth material will let the area breathe where a bandage wouldn't). This will let the skin rest, heal, and further help break that itchiness cycle.

Overall, it sounds like she is experiencing an allergic skin reaction to something in her environment. Therefore, we do want to address her irritation/itchiness with Piriton, keep the skin clean and clear of infection, and prevent further chewing and skin damage. If you do this and she doesn't appear to be settling or you see any pustules/pimples/ulcers, then that'd be our cue to follow up with her vet for a trial on steroids +/- antibiotics (if bacterial infection is present as well) to get her settled and comfortable again.
Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please make sure to rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

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